Monday, November 12, 2012

Galatians 3

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law for "The righteous shall live by faith."     Galatians 3:11

The book of Galatians is so very important because it describes the doctrine of justification. How sinful people can be declared just and righteous before a Holy God. We saw in  chapter two verse sixteen, that the only way is through faith in Jesus Christ. That this is the truth if the gospel, Christ alone saves. Paul is defending that holy truth from those who wanted to place on the Gentile converts the added requirement of circumcision and keeping the law.  Remember in chapter one Paul says this; "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9

Paul is saying if someone preaches that salvation is in something other than Jesus Christ alone, that preacher should be damned! Those are strong words. But, Paul goes on to defend those works and why that type of distorted gospel should be damned.  Galatians 2:16 is the basis of it. A person can not be justified by any other means, to preach any other means to salvation and the life it brings is to preach something that can not save but keeps the hearer in there state of spiritual death.

Paul continues to defend the truth of the gospel in chapter three, where he calls the Galatians foolish for listening to this preaching of the law and circumcision, because they had hear the true gospel showing that Christ was crucified for their sins, how can they want to go back to the way of the flesh when the Spirit had made them free.

Paul gives them some history to show this was always God's plan of salvation and that the Gentiles were to be included in it was set up by God from the very beginning. First of all, Paul explains that Abraham, the Father of the Jews, as well as those who are saved by faith. Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." Galatians 3:7-8.  Those are beautiful words, because if you are a Gentile you see that God always loved you and included you among His people, no matter what race, class or ethnic group you are in, The LORD God of all has provided salvation for you, and never let anyone tell you different.  To me, what Paul goes into next, is further grounds why someone who preaches a distorted gospel is worthy of damnation. Paul tells us that those who rely on the law for their justification are under a curse (verse 10). Because they can not keep the law, the law required absolute 100% obedience, to disobey at any one point was to be put under the curse of God. So to preach that someone needs to seek salvation/justification is keep them under a curse.  The law holds everyone under a curse because all have disobeyed the law, for none can keep it fully. It was necessary for Christ to become a curse for us, and receive our punishment for it, during His crucifixion, for us to be free from the law. I talked about the purpose of the law last time, its ultimately purpose was to condemn us and force us to Christ. Not that it was bad, it is God and from God, but we are bad in sin and unable to keep it. Paul says the promise was made to Abraham and to his seed 430 years before the law, and ratified by God. Showing that this is the way of salvation for God. Then why the Law? Paul says it was given because of our sin, to show that we were sinning against God and declares us guilty so that when Christ came we would have to exercise faith (the way God had begun with Abraham) to seek Him as our only rescue. Paul tells us that the promise was made between God and Abraham and Abraham's offspring and that offspring was Christ. That is another wonderful point, because we can stand on for our assurance of salvation. The promise was between God and Jesus Christ, Abraham slipped up along the way, Moses slipped up along the way, David slipped up along the way, But Christ was a perfect sacrifice. Our faith is in Him, we rest on Him and Him alone.

Some additional comments on Paul saying that those who preach a distorted/false gospel are worthy of be cursed/damnation. There is a distortion of the gospel even today, for Satan has not stopped trying to deceive the true church, just as he deceived Eve and brought down she and Adam. He still presents a false gospel that attracts the flesh and not the spirit. You can see examples of it, on you tubes, all day long, foolishness being presented as church, for all the world to view and come away with hardened hearts against the true God, because of the displays of foolishness posing as Christ's holy church.

Ephesians 1:4 Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him....Hebrews 12:10 ...but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy....1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:15-16 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy.

The distorted gospel today is the one that does not place any emphasis on holiness. We see from the Word of God that we were saved to become holy. If that is left out isn't that a distorted gospel? My prayer is that you would review those passages for yourself and see that the Christian life is one that places us on a holy road and the Holy Spirit leads us along that way into progressive Christlikeness/Holiness. That is to be our hearts desire, anything less than that is short of the gospel and for someone to preach in that manner, with no demand for holiness from those who are saved by a holy God is to deceive people and hold their eternal souls under the curse of God. Don't be deceived!!

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